With more people being asked to stay indoors and work from home during the Coronavirus outbreak, people are struggling to control their eating. This isn’t surprising since when we’re at home we have easy access to food and a whole lot of choice. Plus we don’t need to spend anymore money since it’s already been bought. When we know food is nearby, it’s harder to control ourselves from not eating it and this makes us more prone to overeating. Fortunately though there are several strategies you can implement to better control eating habits at home.
Some people will simply give up trying to have any form of self control over what they eat and it is difficult, but with practice and through various eating strategies you can better control what you eat and how much you eat. I think we should try and control what we eat for several reasons.
- It teaches self-discipline and self control.
- We should care what we put in our bodies.
- We should be conscious of what we put in our bodies.
- We should care about our health.
But that’s my thoughts. Without further ado, here are 10 strategies for controlling eating!
10 Strategies For Controlling Eating
#1 – Distract Yourself
One way to make the time go by fast is to distract yourself. Instead of just thinking about food try and think about something else. Here are some suggestions to distract yourself:
- Watch a movie (without popcorn).
- Play with your kids.
- Spend time catching up with others on social media.
- Start a project e.g. build a home gym, do some gardening.
- Clean the house.
- Write a book.
- Do some self reflection or meditation.
- Play video games.
#2 – Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting or time-restricted feeding (this is the more accurate name) has gained a lot of popularity for being an effortless way to reduce how many calories you eat and thereby helping weight loss. Most go by a period of 16 hours of fasting and an 8 hour eating window but really you can do intermittent fasting by eating only when you are hungry. If you’re not hungry at 8 am, then don’t eat. If you’re hungry at 8 am eat. Simple.
The longer you can make your fasting window, the easier it is to control your eating because it’s a lot easier to eat say 2,000 calories in 14 hours than it is to eat 2,000 calories in 8 hours. If you’re looking at trying a 16/8 method of intermittent fasting try to start with a 12 hour fast and slowly increase the fasting window up to 16 hours (or more if you desire).
#3 – Load Up On Veggies
Veggies contain fewer calories than other foods because they contain lots of water. The fibre within them also helps to make us feel full so loading up on vegetables and physically filling your stomach up with a bigger volume of food can help to control eating by giving your body the signal that it’s full earlier on during a meal.
#4 – Drink Low Calorie Beverages
Sugary drinks taste great, but the body isn’t so good at detecting calories that come in from high calorie beverages. For example, 100g chicken breast is more satiating than a whey protein shake containing an equal number of calories. If you like your drinks, try and opt for a low calorie version or dilute what you’re drinking.
If you have no issues with diet sodas, opt for them instead of normal sodas. As an example, try drinking coffee, tea or broths. This can work quite well with intermittent fasting at supressing your appetite.
#5 – Get Focused On Work
If you’re attention is on work, it’s likely that you are in a hyper-focused state which will prevent other thoughts of food (and other distractions) from entering your mind. Take advantage of this and when you getting into a focused state, work because it will make time go by quickly (and so you’ll have less time for eating).
#6 – Destress
Stress is known to trigger stress eating and undealt stress can also lead to emotional overeating. Try to take care of your mental state and wellbeing by ensuring you aren’t chronically stressed and feel emotionally stable. Some simple strategies to destress (not food related) include:
- Talking to a friend or family member about what is on your mind.
- Doing some exercise.
- Giving someone a hug,
- Playing music.
- Doing some meditation.
- Doing some reflective thinking.
#7 – Exercise
Exercise is another useful outlet of your time if you don’t have much going on and you’re prone to being bored. As a bonus whilst exercise burns calories (effectively allowing you to eat more), it also tends to have an appetite-supressing effect immediately after which will help if you exercise at the end of the fasting period if you are intermittent fasting.
#8 – Try Not To Snack
Snacking on little bits of food such as crisps and sweets tend to stimulate your appetite encouraging you to eat more. To prevent this stimulation of appetite simply try to snack less and stick to three meals a day (or less). If you want a treat, try and have it close to your main meal either as a starter or desert of some sort.
#9 – Eat More Whole Foods
Whole foods are much more satiating than their processed counterparts. For example:
- An orange or a glass of orange juice.
- Chicken breast or a whey protein shake.
- Minced pork or a slice of pork belly.
- A handful of pasta or a single wheat biscuit.
It’s clear to me which one will provide more satiety and help to control how much I eat. In addition, if you eat whole foods you tend to consume fewer calories.
#10 – Know Why You Want To Control Your Eating
This is BIG in my opinion and drives down to your fundamental core values.
Why do you want to control your eating?
Is it to…
- To improve your health.
- Stay lean.
- Optimise athletic performance.
- Be a role model for your children.
There are many different answers, but ultimately know why you want to control your eating and think about it when you have the urge to overeat.
Thanks for reading! If you found this post informative I’d greatly appreciate it if you could share it with friends and family!